I’m ANNIKA TELL. An entrepreneur, investor, coach
and a mother of three young kids.
My life became a total mess after the birth of my first child. I had always imagined that I would work hard until I have kids, then stay at home and enjoy being a mom. When my first child was born, I had been building my sales organization for over ten years, often putting in 12+ hour days. I understood that I just wasn’t ready to give it all up. I loved my job; I loved the people I worked with. They also felt like my family.
So I decided to keep working. I knew that plenty of moms work alongside raising kids, so no big deal. If others can do it, so can I. I relied on my stubborn, can-do attitude but I had no systems in place for working full time while taking care of a baby at the same time.
It went pretty easy at first because babies sleep a lot, and instead of following the advice of ‘Sleep when the baby sleeps’, I used every spare moment to work. But day by day, it got more complicated. Most nights, I found myself answering emails until 3-4 am just to wake up a couple of hours later to start taking care of the baby. Talk about burning the candle on both ends.
I remember the moment I woke up on the couch, sitting and holding the baby in my arms. I realized that I had fallen asleep while trying to feed him. Understanding the danger of that situation was a literal wake-up call for me. Something had to change.
I wondered if it is possible to successfully combine growing a business and raising kids? Or if it was one of those, could I ever do it? Maybe I just wasn’t smart or good enough?
I tried to figure out some systems but nothing gave a good result. Finally, I decided that I needed to find a person who had been successful at doing what I needed to do and copy it. Work smarter, not harder, right? There is no need to reinvent the wheel, so I hired a personal coach from the US, and over the years, I paid her tens of thousands of dollars to help me. It seems like a lot, I know, but she was worth every penny. She was also a working mom with small kids, so she understood my situation exactly.
Together, we figured out the systems I needed to put in place and most importantly, she held me accountable for implementing them. It started to click with me that people never fail, their systems do.
I was determined to figure out the best way to balance work and family.
Understanding that it all starts with being absolutely clear about what I wanted, I started with a vision and clear, reachable goals that excited me.
I now knew what my ideal lifestyle looks like. Next, I figured out the steps I consistently needed to take which would allow me and my family to lead a fulfilled and harmonious life.
I implemented the new systems in my life; hired new people around me, and convinced my husband that all those changes were necessary. I don’t know if he actually ended up agreeing with me or just chose to wave the white flag and go with the ‘Happy wife, happy life’ motto:). Bottom line is – I got all my ducks in a row.
Finally, I understood that nothing works without an excellent self-management system. I needed to become the master of my emotions; feelings, and actions to keep doing what I was doing. So I also created a plan for being in great emotional and physical shape.
After trying out different approaches, I finally figured out what worked best for me. I still remember the moment I closed my laptop, knowing that all the important work was done, and I still had enough of the day left to spend with my family. I enjoyed quality time with my kids and date nights with my husband while my business was hitting the best year ever.
I believe that life does not put anything on our plates that we cannot handle. It does happen that we do not see the whole picture ourselves and need outside assistance to work out the best system for us. We need someone who does not buy our excuses, keeps us accountable, and helps us focus on the solution instead of the problem.
I am forever grateful to my coach for helping me sort out this mess and to every single mentor I have had in my life. That’s why I want to be that lightning source to other moms around me who are still trying to figure out how to combine their dreams with reality.
Working moms provide so much to the world; set an excellent example for their kids, and inspire many other women around them. But there cannot be a happy child or happy partner if there is no happy mom. It is essential that the mom is fulfilled and lives a joyful life. That’s the only way a sunny family can exist.
So as a working mom, it is essential to find a way to enjoy your everyday life to the fullest. My mission is to help working moms overcome the struggles of combining their work and raising their kids. If I can help you in your exciting journey to become a happy, graceful and glowing leader at work and for your kids, I would be glad to do that!
Certified coach and the founder of Inspire Moms to Lead Academy